The 3 Biggest Stories in the Airline Industry Today
Pilots Rally and Urge President Trump to Block Obama Ruling
On January 24, 2017, 130 pilots and airline employees gathered outside the White House to ask President Trump to deny Norwegian Air’s expansion, fearing that they will ultimately cost American jobs.
Norwegian Air was granted additional U.S. routes in December by the Obama administration, and according to unions, the airline will “hire less expensive Asian flight crews instead of Americans and will use an Irish subsidiary to circumvent labor and safety regulations.”
“It’s not a red or blue issue,” said Mike Panebianco, 46, who is the vice president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association. “It’s an issue that can be settled with Trump’s signature and an opportunity to support more American jobs.”
How Did the Major Airlines Rank in 2016?
New year, same results. Alaska Airlines, to no one’s surprise, came in as the nation’s top airline for the fourth straight year, according to the Middle Seat scorecard. Coming in last was the nation’s biggest airline, American Airlines, and according to the Wall Street Journal, they have been last or second to last in the past nine years.
American had major issues at big hubs over the summer, such as traffic jams being created due to additional flights at LAX. American’s SVP of integrated operation says that the airline is still having difficulties from the merge with US Airways.
Delta Air Lines came in at second, edging out Virgin America who will soon merge with Alaska. It will be interesting to see how the Alaska-Virgin merge will affect their rankings in the upcoming years.
Computer Glitch Leads to Grounding of Flights Once Again
Speaking of airline rankings, the latest computer malfunction certainly won’t be helping United Airline's score for 2017. On January 22, United ordered a “ground halt” as a computer glitch kept hundreds of domestic flights from taking off.
In the past year, major airlines such as United, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines have all had computer malfunctions that caused flights to be grounded or delayed. Delta was affected the most, as they took a $100 million hit when their command center caught on fire.